What is the cause of fire in Simlipal Forest Odisha

What is the cause of fire in Simlipal Forest Odisha

The Similipal Biosphere (Biosphere Reserve) spread in Mayurbhanj district of North Odisha has caused huge havoc due to fire since last fortnight.

Spread over an area of ​​5,569 square kilometers in environmentally sensitive Mayurbhanj district, Similipal is Asia's second largest biosphere. Similipal National Park (National Park) and Tiger Reserve are part of this biosphere. Only Tiger Reserve is spread over an area of ​​2750 square kilometers.

The matter of concern is that despite all efforts, control of the fire has not been found so far.

More than 1,000 forest and firefighting personnel are engaged in the task of extinguishing the fire. But instead of extinguishing the fire, it is spreading in new areas and now is rapidly increasing towards the most sensitive 'core area'.

According to the latest satellite picture, fire is still causing havoc in about a hundred places in this vast forest. Hundreds of trees (including many medicinal trees) and orchids are reported to have been destroyed in the grip of fire and large numbers of animals have been killed.Eminent environmentalist Bhanumitra Acharya, who has been working for the safety of Similipal for the last 28 years, says, "I have never seen this outbreak of fire before. It is a very scary situation because the fire is now engulfing the core area. Now Only God can save Similipal ". They mean to say that the fire will be extinguished only when it rains.

Acharya says that if the forest department had taken the necessary steps at the time of fire, this situation would not have happened today.He says, "Instead of treating the wound immediately, it waited for the cancer to take its form and came into action. But by then it was too late."Not only Acharya, many other environmentalists have also alleged that the forest department was sleeping for one week after the fire.

Princess Akshita Manjari Bhanjadev, the heir of the Mayurbhanj Raj family, tweeted about the fire on March 1.The tweet attracted the attention of Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, when the department took cognizance of the incident.

There are many reasons of fire in Similipal every year. According to the forest department, one of the main reasons for this is that local tribals set fire to the leaves to choose Mahua.If Paul is to be believed, "Many times people get angry with the local staff of the forest department for some reason and even set them on fire for fun."But Akshitha Bhanjadeva, who told the outside world about the fire in Similipal, does not hold the tribals responsible for the fire.

During a phone conversation with the BBC, he said, "It is wrong to say that the Adivasis are responsible for the fire. It is being said that they fire for Mahua. But if this happens, the fire is only in the villages around the forest." Looks, not in the 'core area'. "

She says, "Will they go to the peaks of the mountain just to put out the fire? What will they get by doing this? The truth is that fires on the peak often put hunters ('poachers') so that wild animals would come down and hunt them." Go. Recently, elephant teeth weighing more than 50 kg were recovered in Similipal, which is a proof that poachers and smugglers have got an open exemption here. "Akshita believes that after expelling the local tribals from the biosphere, no alternative arrangement for their livelihood, roti and not taking them into confidence is the main cause of the fire.

She says, "For a permanent solution to the problem, coordination between local tribals, voluntary organizations and the forest department is necessary."But at present, it does not seem possible given the attitude of the forest department.